Probably Bad Episode 25: Modron Memes, Dungbeetle Heaven, and Hairy Jesters

D&daniel

This podcast is supported by listeners on patreon. Thanks to mario, hedwig and carlo for their support. It fills my heart with love and dice. Wait, that’s not right, it should be blood. Someone send help.

Opening music.

Mod pencil

Welcome to the probably bad podcast, a podcast which is definitely bad. I’m pencil.

Paper

I’m paper. Today’s probably bad rpg idea is…

Dice roll.

PAPER

A warlock who seems to have a terribly dark secret that torments him every day but his secret is he’s a halfling who made a pact with a demon just to be tall. That was submitted by discount nerd on tumblr. The idea of someone with big scary secrets that are just stuff like that is just inherently hilarious to me and that’s why I chose it.

MOD PENCIL

I like the idea of this as something a big mystery arc. You are tracking down this character, you want to find their dark secret, and in the end it turns out they’re just short. I think the more build up you have to the dark secret the better it is.

PAPER

You’ve got to really lean into it as this giant possibly terrifying thing.

MOD PENCIL

My mind just jumped to this standard town, the townspeople are spooky, you’re looking around and thinking is it a cult are they possessed by demons and so forth and so forth, and it turns out that they’re just weird. Weird jim lives here.

PAPER

Weird jim.

MOD PENCIL

Just weird jim, he wears a silly hat. They don’t want you to see his silly hat, and that’s why there’s the mystery, the hiding and so forth.

PAPER

It’s just the lengths the town is going to to hide jim’s hat from you.

MOD PENCIL

Yes cause it’s really ugly.

PAPER

See I was just thinking about cause there’s the module rhyme of the frost maiden where your characters can have these big secrets they have to keep from everyone, and I like the idea of doing that but with shit like pretends to be a tabaxi but is actually just a furry.

MOD PENCIL

My mind just jumped to a setting where the reveal is there are no tabaxi it’s all furries in deep cover.

PAPER

I have definitely seen people pitching stuff like there’s no such thing as a human it’s just aliens trying to be human. Which I genuinely love as a concept.

MOD PENCIL

I feel that would also work but like everyone’s secret is they’re not actual human, and they’re the same alien species and just don’t know it.

PAPER

I like that cause unlike the halfling thing, it would feel to the player like some genuinely big secret and at some point it’s revealed and to people outside of the party it probably would be a big deal, but to the party themselves it’s probably a bit of a disappointment.

MOD PENCIL

What you need to do is have one character have a chance to do a big reveal, ha-hah I was a martian all along, and then all the other players go around like dominoes doing the same dramatic reveal.

PAPER

It’s me, anastasia. I feel a great way to do that as well, if they know each other, guys I’ve got a secret, I’m not actually kyle. I’m from venus! Oh shit, terry?

MOD PENCIL

Everyone knows each others’ alien selves and human selves, but they haven’t put two and two together.

PAPER

Just making the reveal as underwhelming as possible, you know?

MOD PENCIL

You just dramatically go yes, I’m an alien from the planet venus and I’m here to conquer your world, the other player stands up and says hey you owe me 20 venus dollars as their disguise comes off.

PAPER

Venus dollars.

MOD PENCIL

Yeah I was going to say normal dollars but I remembered they wouldn’t have those on venus, I don’t want this to get unrealistic.

PAPER

If you were on venus would you call them venus dollars or just dollars, what is the most realistic way of putting it?

MOD PENCIL

I mean you know, we call regular earth pounds.

PAPER

Yeah but we’re talking about dollars.

MOD PENCIL

True. I personally live my life like a character in a bad 50s prediction of the future. Welcome to my earth house, I’m going to put on my earth clothes and eat some earth dinner.

PAPER

I do also love the implication that this character got the warlock powers just as a bonus. Like the warlock – the patron was just like ok you’ve sold your soul to me, I feel like I’ve got an unfair one sided deal, I’m going to give you powers as well.

MOD PENCIL

I may be a literal demon but I feel this may be too much of a scam? At least take an eldritch blast or something.

PAPER

It doesn’t have to be a demon, it just has to be a fairy, with their sense of fair trade and things. No I’m giving you something else, no I just want to be tall, no I’m giving you magic powers whether you like it or not.

MOD PENCIL

It’s like- you have the sort of trope of an unwitting patron bargain in lots of campaigns but this seems like the next step of the patron following you around going look you’re now entitled to the ability to turn into a swarm of flies, just take it.

PAPER

You don’t have to use it, just take it. I feel like that voice was the patron is your mum trying to get you to put on a jumper. You won’t have to wear the mage armour just take it with you in case it gets stabby.

MOD PENCIL

Your patron is your mum is a concept in its own right.

PAPER

It’s just hercules.

MOD PENCIL

But yeah, I feel like I like to imagine not in the sense you’re born half demon or something, it’s you’re born normal and your mum becomes an all powerful deity.

PAPER

That would be awkward wouldn’t it?

MOD PENCIL

I was looking for a patron and my mum will do now?

PAPER

A voice from the skies – don’t forget to clean your room.

MOD PENCIL

To be fair, in D&D campaigns where there’s the premise that humans can like transcend to become divine beings there is definitely some kind of campaign there like your best mate is now supreme ruler of fire and it’s just everyone trying to continue to host parties when 4 of them work as accountants and one of them is an elemental deity who can shatter stars.

PAPER

I feel like the deity has the most free time at least.

Consider – your patron is your wife.

MOD PENCIL

There’s a lot of questions there.

PAPER

You gain an advantage to smite people if they make jokes about how much they hate their wives.

MOD PENCIL

You gain advantage to smite people because you’re already smitten.

PAPER

Eyyyy.

MOD PENCIL

I swear my mind went to a semi beauty and the beast thing where this entity has their true power locked away until someone loves them and that releases their power and it’s just- you know, happy to keep going on with the relationship.

PAPER

I was thinking more along the lines of like a – you fall in love with an arch fey not knowing what they are, you get married and they’re just like ok I feel like this relationship is one sided me being an arch fey they’ll give you powers.

MOD PENCIL

As like just – you know how in our world with a wedding gift someone will give you a toaster or a coffee machine, in this one it’s just yeah if you don’t know what to get them just give them unimaginable cosmic powers that always goes down well.

PAPER

You realise you don’t give each other wedding gifts, right?

MOD PENCIL

I do as I started saying it, I just got onto the idea of like your patron is someone you don’t hugely know but felt obligated to be invited to your wedding and they made a pact with you as a wedding gift.

PAPER

Your patron isn’t your mum your patron is your mother in law.

MOD PENCIL

Your patron is a distant cousin who doesn’t really know you that well. I weirdly like this setting where patrons are just people who are going around. You end up awkwardly sitting next to your patron on the bus and making small talk.

PAPER

Isn’t a warlock patron a kind of boss?

MOD PENCIL

Yeah, I guess… Just all warlock campaigns set in an office. Your patron is a middle manager.

PAPER

Don’t you hate when you finally get a moment to yourself and your patron comes in and asks about the johnson account?

MOD PENCIL

Yeah. I really like this setting of patrons just small town, small office, your patron’s just there. They keep tagging you in weird memes on facebook and you don’t want to not respond cause they do give you cosmic powers.

PAPER

Sorry I was just trying to work out what the D&D version of minions is. It’s probably those weird robots, which I cannot for the life of me remember what they’re called.

MOD PENCIL

Modron?

PAPER

Yes! Modron memes.

MOD PENCIL

The dark secret you have is your patron won’t stop sending you modron memes.

PAPER

Listeners, please send me modron memes. I need this. So we’ve only got one question this week, so I think we’re going to do that question and a second idea.

Question music.

MOD PENCIL

This question is from histrix. How many objects should be mimics in a typical dungeon?

PAPER

How many objects can you fit in a dungeon?

MOD PENCIL

All the toilets.

PAPER

All the toilets. The sinks are fine.

MOD PENCIL

All the toilets and only the toilets. I think the obvious-

PAPER

I’ve never come across a toilet in a dungeon crawl, which is weird considering how many are abandoned wizard homes and stuff.

MOD PENCIL

Yeah before about ten years ago wizards didn’t need to shit.

PAPER

I thought you were going to go the harry potter route where they just disappear it, just shit in a bag of holding.

MOD PENCIL

It’s all the same bag of holding.

PAPER

The same pocket dimension.

MOD PENCIL

A pretty shitty place.

PAPER

Home to one dung beetle having the time of its life.

MOD PENCIL

It’s dung beetle heaven. Anyway, back to mimics rather than dung beetle heaven, I think the obvious answer would be all of them. All but one door. And it’s said ahead of time it’s all but one door.

PAPER

None of the objects but all the party members. It’s basically a game of granny’s footsteps, where you have to get through the dungeon without being caught by any of the monsters. Do you call It granny’s footsteps cause there’s a million names for these games.

MOD PENCIL

What’s the game?

PAPER

The one where someone faces the wall and you need to sneak up on them and turn around.

MOD PENCIL

What’s the time mr wolf is the version I’ve played. Yeah does sound slightly more ominous being chased by monsters.

PAPER

Depends on what your grandma’s like I guess.

MOD PENCIL

So your dungeon’s this corridor and there’s a wolf on one end your grandma on the other and they’re both mimics.

PAPER

Inside you there are two wolves one of them is your grandma.

MOD PENCIL

But yeah, the player’s skin should be mimics.

PAPER

The player’s skin? They’re meat people with mimics over the top.

MOD PENCIL

Aren’t we all just meat people with mimics over the top?

PAPER

I prefer to think of myself as a ghost trapped within a meat suit but go on…

MOD PENCIL

Each of the players has their skin replaced by a mimic, and it’s how long can they go without figuring this out.

PAPER

How long can the person go or how long can the mimic go?

MOD PENCIL

Both.

PAPER

I think we’re getting in some real body horror stuff.

MOD PENCIL

I don’t think it’s answering the question, but yes… Every toilet, all but one door, exactly ten coins in the treasure, and your grandma.

PAPER

Am I right in thinking that in some edition or other dungeon mimics were a thing?

MOD PENCIL

First edition had dungeon mimics, it had mimics that replaced the floor, mimics that replaced the wall, mimics that replaced the ceiling, so you could walk in a room and all the walls, floor and ceiling would immediately attack you.

Paper

That’s a probably bad idea right there.

Mod pencil

Yeah there were bed mimics, there were clothes mimics, first edition went really far on every random object in a room might kill you.

Paper

I like the idea of a clothes mimic though, cause it can’t really do much without being noticed like if you open a jacket and it looks like a mouth inside, you’ve got to be really avant garde to still put on that jacket. This is just punishing the weird fashion people.

MOD PENCIL

This is jim’s hat.

PAPER

Jim’s hat is a mimic?

MOD PENCIL

Yeah, that’s… Like I feel creepy town with a mimic as the dark secret works, but it’s too close to a good idea, so I guess we’re going to have to make it someone’s hat.

PAPER

What if the mayor is a mimic, or a mayor-mic?

MOD PENCIL

I… Ah…. I lost the ability to talk in response to that pun, just so you know.

PAPER

I’ve still got it. It’s the 8th november and we’re all feeling some kind of way.

MOD PENCIL

It certainly is an emotion, I think it’s a mimic.

PAPER

That’s the secret there’s no such thing as emotions it’s all just tiny mimics in your bloodstream.

MOD PENCIL

There we go so the things in dungeons that should be mimics are jim’s hat, every toilet, all but one door, peoples’ skin, the party and the party’s capacity to feel joy. I hope that answers your question.

PAPER

And a wolf and a grandma.

MOD PENCIL

Yes, and a partridge in a pear tree.   

PAPER

Not the tree though, it’s a normal tree.

Question music

PAPER

Ok so our second idea is remember, bigfoot is like salt for your campaign. No matter what your campaign is, you can’t go wrong with bigfoot coming into the scene.

MOD PENCIL

This was an idea I posted and I completely stand by it, you know. You’re having a tense political discussion game of thrones style, bigfoot walks in. You’re in a dungeon in a sealed room with no escape, bigfoot walks in. You’re hunting bigfoot, bigfoot walks in.

PAPER

I love the idea of bigfoot joining a monster hunting party. Cause there’s that story of the woman who joined her own search party. Just imagining that except the search party have guns.

MOD PENCIL

The rpg group is just a search party with guns. I like the idea of bigfoot turning up with a fake moustache, hello I’m steve.

PAPER

What if he shaves where the fake moustache would be?

MOD PENCIL

Then puts a fake moustache on there? I can’t be bigfoot, I have a fake moustache. So the defining quality of a bigfoot is its big feet.

Meaning if it was trying to hide, it would need clown shoes.

PAPER

I don’t like where this is going.

MOD PENCIL

Which means as long as the search party consists entirely of clowns, it can shave, paint itself white, put on a red nose, put on big clown shoes and just pass itself off as a normal harmless clown.

PAPER

I feel like there are easier ways for bigfoot to disguise itself because if it just gets like a grey belt and puts it on a sash that’s a star wars cosplay. No I’m not bigfoot I’m just a nerd.

MOD PENCIL

Here’s the plot for the campaign. You have two groups. One group of clowns and one group of star wars nerds, and both of them – one of them has been infilatrated by bigfoot, and you have to work out who it is.

PAPER

Is this a honey heist mechanic where you have 3 points in star wars and 3 points in clown?

MOD PENCIL

Yeah.

PAPER

And you have to get not too nerdy or clownish in your search for bigfoot.

MOD PENCIL

Tbh I feel like my life is a balance betweeen being too nerdy and clowny.

PAPER

That is basically what this podcast is I suppose.

MOD PENCIL

Yeah feel free to send suggestions of where we are on the clown nerd scale. So the obvious thing about bigfoot is you’re trying to find it. That is, the whole thing. So, I think what we should do is at random points through your campaign, regardless of how high stakes the campaign is, the players have to go find bigfoot. Oh no your children have been kidnapped by demons, but first you need to find bigfoot.

PAPER

What if you bring bigfoot in in the starting tavern or wherever, and it’s like oh there’s bigfoot and we can get on with our lives.

MOD PENCIL

Bigfoot but he’s hanging around.

PAPER

Bigfoot is the proprietor of the local petshop.

MOD PENCIL

I still think bigfoot should be a clown and I realise that’s an opinion that needs like validating cause as it is It just sounds like a terrible idea-

PAPER

Please expand on this. You’re walking in the woods and you just hear honk-honk-honk then suddenly you’ve been sprayed with seltzer.

MOD PENCIL

That would inspire horror in quite a lot of players. You’re walking through the woods chased by an invisible clown.

PAPER

Actual clown bigfoot.

MOD PENCIL

Yeah. But my idea was an among us style, you’re all In the circus and bigfoot has infilrated. Or the circus is on a bigfoot hunt and bigfoot has infiltrated.

PAPER

Why is the circus on a bigfoot hunt?

MOD PENCIL

Ok, so the circus is low on money and the only way they can think of to raise enough funds to keep the circus going is to find bigfoot. And obviously bigfoot doesn’t want to be found so infiltrated and passed off as a clown.

PAPER

So bigfoot’s goal is to throw them off the scent.

MOD PENCIL

And their goal is to figure out which one is bigfoot, possibly by stepping on each others’ clown shoes cause you know if it’s a clown they’ve got normal sized feet in there, but bigfoot’s got big feet. I think that’s a plot point on the simpsons but I’m using it now.

PAPER

Yeah. His feet are so big cause they’re filled with evil, except obviously bigfoot’s feet are filled with friendship.

MOD PENCIL

The point is you need to find bigfoot. It does sound like bigfoot is killing the clowns but I guess could just be leading them to the wrong part of the forest, away from the bigfoot village. There’s a bigfoot village of bigfeet, and the clown’s goal is to find the village and the bigfoot’s goal is to lure them away from the village.

PAPER

Again though this just sounds like a one page rpg I would play.

MOD PENCIL

It sounds like a one page rpg I would make.

PAPER

I do like the idea though of bringing bigfoot into a very diplomacy heavy game. We were going to go to war with you, but bigfoot just stole the queen. Now we’ve got to deal with that.

MOD PENCIL

Firstly bigfoot just stole the queen is my favourite plot hook you can use it in your campaign regardless of what your campaign is, and also you have this game of thrones style world, do you want we’re all sitting here discussing plans but bigfoot has come in and is beating people up and such have you, or we’re discussing things, but bigfoot’s come in, got the favour of the queen and now owns your lands?

PAPER

See I was imagining it like in the sound of music when one of the guys runs onto the stage and is like they escaped. I’m imagining some of them run out and are like bigfoot’s here!

MOD PENCIL

We don’t have the budget to show you bigfoot, but-

PAPER

Trust me when I say he bungled up the queen and rappeled down one of the towers and rode away on some sort of magnificent beast into the woods.

MOD PENCIL

What you need to do is have your campaign, your political campaign, and make it increasingly obvious there’s a second more exciting campaign involving bigfoot riding a magnificent beast and stealing world leaders, happening just after the players leave.

PAPER

He’s taking all the world leaders to the bigfoot village so they’ll be forced to sit and talk to each other without the pomp and circumstance getting in the way.

MOD PENCIL

Bigfoot is going to bring about world peace.

PAPER

And he’s going to do it while dressed as a clown. So he can infiltrate the castles in the first place.

MOD PENCIL

The jester is just doing the standard jestery things and then boom, they take off their shoes, reveal they’re bigfoot, grab the queen, jump astride a manticore, fly away into the forest.

PAPER

This is why you can’t trust hairy jesters. Well known expression.

MOD PENCIL

So I think we’ve covered at least 3 campaign ideas there.

PAPER

Yeah, speaking of t-shirts we have new merch on our redbubble store, redbubble/people/probablybad, including the logo but 80s and the reveal of D&Daniel’s true form.

MOD PENCIL

If for some reason you want to see D&Daniel’s face, we’re not responsible for any curses that happen as a result of that, but you can now buy it.

PAPER

We also have a patreon where you can access homebrew and bonus episodes, one of which will be us playing a brian blessed themed one shot.

MOD PENCIL

It is an rpg called brian blessed is in your garden somewhere or something like that.

PAPER

If you want to listen to that, please send us some money. And if you want to send a question you can send it to the tumblr probablybadrpgideas or you can email probably bad podcast at gmail.com, and whether or not you do…

Both

Remember to have a probably bad day.

Closing music

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